A recent article in Scientific American explains the biology of why people are so willing to follow orders: Milgram’s research tackled whether a person could be coerced into behaving heinously, but new research released Thursday offers one explanation as to why. In particular, acting under orders caused participants to perceive a distance from outcomes that […]
Randa Morris of Addicting Information examines the root of modern right wing ideology:
We know that conservatives respond strongly to negative stimuli. We know that they are motivated by fear, or what researchers describe as ‘perceived threats’. We know that conservatives are often deeply insecure. Hibbings research also suggests that conservatives view themselves as part of a small group, and that they perceive those outside of the group as a threat to the well being of the group itself. That knowledge goes a long way toward explaining conservatives attitudes toward immigration as well as their hatred of minorities, non Christians and others who fall outside of their elite circle. Going one step further, it seems that there is a belief that everyone outside of the group is a threat to the group itself.
One thing we still don’t know is whether conservatives are born with these tendencies or whether they learn them throughout life. Is it nature or nurture? One thing is for sure, those at the top of the right wing food chain know very well how to exploit their base through fear and negativity. The extreme right wing operates very much like a religious cult. The main job of the cult leaders is to keep the members fearful and distrusting of everyone outside of the group, thus ensuring that they can continue to control the message.
I tend to believe that the right wing media is the cause of the underlying psychology that researchers observe in conservative personalities. Logically speaking, how many people would be afraid of absurd conspiracy theories like Agenda 21 or Obamacare death panels or FEMA camps, if the right wing media didn’t disseminate so many lies? The same goes for just about any of things that conservatives fear, from immigrant children to any form of sane gun control, the conservative media keeps these people afraid at all times.
I’ve long ben familiar with John Gottman’s research on marital relationships. This Business Insider article sums up some of his main findings of what it is that makes a relationship work over the long term. Here’s an excerpt:
In the 2006 study, Gable and her colleagues followed up with the couples two months later to see if they were still together. The psychologists found that the only difference between the couples who were together and those who broke up was active constructive responding. Those who showed genuine interest in their partner’s joys were more likely to be together. In an earlier study, Gable found that active constructive responding was also associated with higher relationship quality and more intimacy between partners.
There are many reasons why relationships fail, but if you look at what drives the deterioration of many relationships, it’s often a breakdown of kindness. As the normal stresses of a life together pile up—with children, career, friend, in-laws, and other distractions crowding out the time for romance and intimacy—couples may put less effort into their relationship and let the petty grievances they hold against one another tear them apart.
I found myself in an unusual situation last week. A man kept reaching down and touching my feet while we were trying to have a conversation. It actually wasn’t so bad, because he was my new podiatrist, and he was excellent. I learned that I have achilles tendinitis. It’s time to implement several conservative measures and it will likely go away over the next few months. Which is good, because I hit a low yesterday, limping all day. It’s great to know what is going on, and now I also have x-rays of my feet as souvenirs (maybe I’ll frame them and put them on my walls). He said that this is not a disease, but an injury. It’s not an “old” person’s problem. He said that professional athletes have this issue. I think he was trying to portray me to be like a professional athlete.
For those in St. Louis, my new doctor’s name is Richard Brandel, DPM, a board certified podiatrist located in Clayton, MO. It was an amazingly pleasant experience. I called today, and the receptionist slipped me in a few hours later, due to a cancellation. Dr. Brandel spent LOTS of time explaining the situation to me in clear detail, answering all of my many questions for a condition that has frustrated me for several months.
The frustrating news is that it takes about as long to get over achilles tendinitis as it took to get into bad shape.
A friend of mine, Steve Grappe, recently posted an article at his studio, PhotoG, about the process of taking my portrait. Steve is a professional photographer who excels at portraits. I am also a photographer, and I was looking for both a learning experience and a portrait. I wasn’t disappointed.
Without getting into the details, I was recently divorced, and the experience of struggling in a dysfunctional marriage can leave both parties feeling less than confident about who they are. This is not a good starting point for one to branch out to meet new people post-divorce. [More . . . ]
Excellent discussion of corporate immunity, including mandatory pre-dispute arbitration clauses:
Following the 2011 and 2013 Supreme Court rulings, dozens of other giant corporations—from Comcast and Wells Fargo to Ticketmaster and Dropbox—have secured the same legal immunity. So have companies ranging from airlines, gyms, payday lenders, and nursing homes, which have quietly rewritten the fine print of their contracts with consumers to include a shield from lawsuits and class actions. Meanwhile, businesses including Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, P. F. Chang’s, and Uber have tucked similar clauses into their contracts with workers.
Hastily clicking through terms of service is now all it can take to surrender your rights to these companies. Once you do, your only path for recourse if you’re harmed by any one of them is “mandatory arbitration,” where the arbitrator is often chosen by the corporation you’re challenging, and any revelations about the company’s wrongdoing tend to be kept secret. Rather than band together under the light of the public courtroom, each individual has to work through the darkness of a private tribunal, alone, where arbitrators can interpret laws however they wish. Certain inalienable rights, the Court has ruled, are actually kind of alienable.